Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roll Your Own Life (1) - Introduction

Things have been a little crazy over the last couple of months. My mother has been in hospital for the best part of two months, and I've been trekking up-country to visit at every opportunity I've had.

Spending time at my old house brings back a lot of memories, and this is just part of the reason for this series of blog posts.

The second reason started with an innocent photo. It was Origins 2012 just a couple of weeks ago, and Dom (my publisher at Cubicle 7) went to represent the Cubicle 7, especially as they were up for a number of awards including two nominations for RPG of the Year, and a nomination (and a win!) for Best RPG Supplement. Dom posted on the Cubicle 7 Facebook page a little photo of him with Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day, who were taking in the sites at the convention. I'd been fans of both of them for ages, Felicia Day inspiring the whole webseries thing I was involved in for a while, and Wil Wheaton has become an icon of all things good and gamey (you really should check out his amazing webseries TableTop on the Geek and Sundry Youtube channel if you haven't already).

Seeing that photo reminded me of something I'd been meaning to do for long time - to read Wil Wheaton's autobiography (which is the best way to describe it) "Just a Geek". I'm about half way through, breezing through in a matter of hours, and it's inspired me to reflect on things myself a little as well.

Finally, the last reason for starting to write these little blog-posts is my amazing wife. She had a theory about how the friends you have through roleplaying gaming share a camaraderie that could be equated to being in a war. Your friends and yourself have been through epic battles, intense situations and some moments of levity that will remain with you. I meet up with the friends I had at school and the conversations can often become filled with tales of our games, what happened, and what we did wrong almost as if we were really there and experienced the adventures ourselves.

So while I've been trying to work on WILD (and I think the system is completely fathomed now, and the back-story is coming together nicely - and is so epic it could lead to some form of fiction...), trying to concentrate on things like that can be hard. But all this reflection and nostalgia has inspired me to chronicle my life, seen through the eyes of a gamer.

Gaming has been a big part of my life. It formed my circle of friends at school, friends I've known and kept in touch with for over thirty years. It got me my first job (normal job that is, working for the County Council), it's sort of how I met my wife, and gaming was a hobby that became a dream job writing them.

I'm calling these posts "Roll Your Own Life" - it comes from playing AD&D a lot as a kid/teen, and our DMs (whether this was Pete, Milo or Bragi - names that will make sense in future posts*) had a tendency of shouting "Roll Your Own Death" and throwing a D20 at us when it was Saving Throw time. Just seemed to make sense to call these posts "Roll Your Own Life" - almost like those choose your own adventure books...

[*I've since been informed that "Roll Your Own Death" came from Bragi... Pete had the tendency of throwing a very large eraser at us when our hitpoints were running out, meaning it was nearing time to roll a new character!]

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